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Miami Immigration & Naturalization Law Blog

How the travel ban may affect employment visas

As many people in Florida know, immigrating to the U.S. can be a long and complicated process. The travel ban that was recently allowed by the Supreme Court seems to have made the process for the people coming from six countries even more complicated. There were exceptions to the executive order for people with a bona fide relationship with an individual or entity in the United States, which only added to the complications.

In a previous post we discussed what this meant for family members trying to come here. However, there is also an exception for people who are coming here for employment immigration. Having a job within the U.S. can create a bona fide relationship with an entity. So, many people coming to the U.S. on employment visas will be able to still come as long as the employment visa was granted within the ordinary course and not designed to circumvent the executive order.

What is a close familial relationship for the travel ban?

The President of the United States has been pushing for a travel ban for certain people coming from six countries mainly in the Middle East, which would affect people in Florida. In a recent post we discussed that the United States Supreme Court had allowed portions of the travel ban to go into effect after initially being blocked by Federal Circuit Courts.

However, in that post we also discussed how certain terms were left vague by the Supreme Court, raising questions about who would be exempt from the President's Executive Order and who would not. The U.S. Department of State recently tried to clarify some of the confusion by defining some of the terms. The one most important to people in Florida dealing with family immigration is whether their families would still be able to come into the country.

Special rules for property owners with respect to children

In general in Florida, there are different written and unwritten rules for adults and children. Some rules remain the same but, for example, people do not treat an adult in the same manner they would treat a seven-year-old child. There is an understanding that children's brains have not fully developed yet and in many situations they do not realize the consequences of their decisions and need much stricter guidance in order to make the right decision.

This general concept is also true as it relates to premises liability laws in Florida. Normally property owners' level of care owed to people on their property depends on why the person is on the property. In general a property owner owes trespassers the lowest level of care. Only when the property owner purposely does something to injure a trespasser will they be liable for any injuries.

US Supreme Court decision upholds portions of travel ban

As many people in Miami are well aware, President Donald J. Trump has been trying to pass a travel ban order over the last few months. An injunction was placed on the travel ban by Federal Circuit Courts in parts of the US, but a final decision had not been made as to its legality. The US Supreme Court finally decided to hear the matter, but will not make a final decision until October. However, in the mean time they lifted the injunction on portions of the travel ban until they can make a final decision.

They allowed the travel ban for the six countries listed in the order and refugees unless an individual has an existing "bona fide relationship" in the US. This was not defined, but they did provide examples such as a close familial relationship such as a spouse, students already admitted into universities, workers who accepted jobs in the US, people coming to speak to a US audience and others. However, they did not exactly make US immigration law much clearer.

Data shows rise in Venezuelans seeking asylum in the U.S.

The immigration policy of the United States is in flux with the debates regarding travel bans and walls that have arisen with the presidency of Donald J. Trump. Even with that, other issues have continued as before. Florida residents who are in the U.S. after seeking asylum and those who have relatives who are trying to do so must be aware of the current realities. The ongoing problems in Venezuela illustrate this as it is one of the countries that has the largest number of people seeking to come to the U.S. for safety reasons.

According to recent data, the number of Venezuelans who are trying to get asylum in the U.S. has risen by more than double from 2016 to 2017. In the time frame of the first three months of 2017, there were more than 8,300 Venezuelans seeking asylum. This is in comparison to the more than 3,500 who sought asylum in the first three months of 2016. If that pace continues, the record of 18,155 from 2016 will be surpassed. Given Venezuela's governmental crackdown on protestors and other battles with the regime in place there, the country has overtaken China with the highest number of refugees seeking asylum in the U.S.

Cashews with glass in the packaging leads to product recall

For Miami residents who purchase an item, the last thing they will be thinking about is that it will be manufactured, produced, packaged and sold if there is a danger to it or a flaw within it. However, it does happen with a variety of products including food. While vigilant companies will do what they can to prevent this from happening and will take steps for a product recall if it is found to be dangerous in some way, problems will still happen. If a person is injured, suffers an illness or dies because of a food item, it could be the basis for a products liability lawsuit.

A recall was initiated by a company that sells packaged cashews. According to the complaints, customers found pieces of glass in some of the packages. These cashews were halves and pieces with sea salt. The company initiated a recall in 28 states and Washington D.C. where the cashews are sold including locations in Florida. The recall notice states that there have yet to be injuries reported due to the glass. It is noted that cashews can stay fresh for an extended period, so it is possible that there were items sold in the past that might have been afflicted with the glass and customers are not aware. The "best by" dates were November 27-28 of 2018. Those who might have purchased these cashews are advised not to eat them and seek a refund.

What is necessary for naturalization and to pass the test?

People in Florida who are immigrants and would like to be naturalized American citizens often worry about many different factors in their efforts to receive naturalization. These ancillary issues are important, but should not supersede the basics to becoming a U.S. citizen. These include the initial requirements for naturalization and the naturalization test.

To be eligible for naturalization, the person is required to be a minimum of 18 at the time he or she files the form to apply - Form N-400, Application for Naturalization. He or she must be a permanent resident and have lived in the U.S. for a minimum of five years. The person must show the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services that he or she lived in the state or the USCIS district of application for a minimum of three months. Residence must have been continuous for a minimum of five years immediately prior to the date of filing the above-listed form. The person must show that he or she has been physically present in the U.S. for a minimum of 30 months of the prior five years before filing the form. He or she must be able to read, speak and write basic English. The person must be considered of "good moral character." And there must be a demonstration of being attached to the principles within the Constitution of the United States.

What are investor based visas?

Not everyone who comes to Florida or anywhere in the U.S. as an immigrant is doing so to look for work or to join family members. Some would like to enter the U.S. to start a business as an investor. A person who does this might be eligible for investor based visas. There are certain rules for a person to receive a Green Card through investment. Knowing how to meet these rules is vital to getting this type of Green Card.

An entrepreneur who chooses to invest in a commercial enterprise in the U.S. or plans to create and maintain at least 10 permanent full-time jobs for U.S. workers who are qualified to do them can be granted permanent residence in the U.S. This also applies to their spouses and any child under age 21 who is not married. Each fiscal year, the U.S. will allow as many as 10,000 of these visas. The entrepreneur must invest $1 million or at least $500,000 in an area that is declared "targeted" meaning that it has high unemployment or is a rural area. In exchange for doing this, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) may allow the entrepreneur and family to stay in the U.S. as permanent residents.

Fatal boating accident statistics show rise in 2016

With watersports and boats used as a common recreational activity in Miami and throughout Florida, it is essential that those who take part in the activity understand that there are certain risks involved with it. Unfortunately, some of these enjoyable trips out on boats end with a fatal accident. These happen for a variety of reasons and statistical studies attempt to delve deeply into them to prevent a recurrence. One new report from the U.S. Coast Guard says that there were more recreational boating fatalities in 2016 than in the past five years.

In 2016, there were 701 deaths on the water. This, in comparison to 626 in 2015, is a 12 percent increase. The number rose despite a greater focus on safety. The report also says that there was an increase in boat injuries with an 11.1 percent rise to 2,903 from 2,613. As for accidents, there was a rise to 4,463 from 4,158 which came to 7.3 percent.

What is the criteria for an orphan adoption to the U.S.?

Florida residents who are seeking to adopt a child from overseas should be aware of the orphan process used by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. Given the fluctuating and unpredictable events that are happening in the world today, more and more children are seeking a home and safety in the U.S. There is no shortage of people who are willing to take these children in, but orphan adoption must be done in accordance with the laws for international adoption. This is particularly worrisome with the political climate such as it is.

For a U.S. citizen, those who are married must have the spouse sign Form I-600, Petition to Classify Orphan as an Immediate Relative. The spouse must also adopt the child. For those who are unmarried, they must be at least 25 when filling out this form as an individual. The prospective parent must establish that proper parental care will be provided to the child. He or she must also establish that the child is an orphan as defined by the immigration laws of the U.S.

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